Delta Council Election: DSIEC Won’t Recognise APC Chairmanship Candidates for Oshimili South, Aniocha South
… As Stakeholders Accuse APC State Chairman of Compromise
The Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) has said it will not recognise any party candidate, whose candidature is being challenged in court.
DSIEC Electoral Commissioner, Hon. Frederick O. Ulakpa disclosed this Thursday at the Commission’s headquarters in Asaba in an interview.
According to him, DSIEC has been served Court summons by a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oshimili South in a suit over alleged unlawful substitution.
Reacting to the brewing crisis in Oshimili South and Aniocha South APC over alleged unlawful substitution, Hon. Ulakpa said the Commission will not recognise any candidate of the party that is in court.
“I’m aware of the Oshimili South APC case. We have been served with Court papers. As far as I’m concerned, APC has no candidate in Oshimili South. The same applies to any other party in any area, where the matter is in court.
“Parties should allow internal democracy to prevail in the emergence of candidates, rather than creating problems for themselves only to pass the buck to DSIEC as umpire and then go around to accuse the Commission of complicity.
“We cannot condone such deliberate acts and we are resolved to abide by the law in handling issues bothering on the electoral process. We have people here that have integrity and would want to protect it”, the DSIEC Electoral Commissioner averred.
He said before substitution of a candidate could be accepted by the Commission, the application must be handwritten and duly signed by the candidate applicant, adding that parties should abide by the dictates of their Constitution in resolving intraparty disputes.
Meanwhile, elders and stakeholders of the APC in Oshimili South have accused the State Caretaker Committee Chairman, Prophet Jones Erue, in concert with an aide to the Deputy Senate President, of compromise in the alleged unlawful substitution of the rightful Chairmanship Candidate of the party in the March 6 Council election.
According to a chieftain of the party, Dr. Obi Essumai, the Oshimili South APC followed the party processes in the conduct of the primary election which produced Engr. Eugene Umunna as the APC Chairmanship Candidate for March 6 council election in the state.
“Engr. Umunna successfully emerged as the candidate at an elaborate primary election conducted at the LGA Party Secretariat and was duly presented with DSIEC Forms 001 and 002 by the Chairman, Delta North Caretaker Committee, Chief George Okafor.
“But at DSIEC headquarters, the name of Phillip Chike Juluga was published as candidate for Oshimili South, instead of Engr. Eugene Umunna. We learnt it was the State chairman who presented his name to DSIEC.
“I don’t know how and where they conducted their primaries but definitely not in the LG Secretariat. They have their slogan that Omo-Agege and Barr. Alex Onwuadiamu are behind us”, Dr. Essumai stated.
Reacting to his alleged substitution, Engr. Umunna posited that he remained the chairmanship candidate of the APC for Oshimili South in the March 6, 2021 council election, adding he has filed a pre-election suit at a High Court in Asaba to reclaim his stolen mandate.
He called on sons and daughters of Asaba in the diaspora to discountenance advances from Chike Juluga, soliciting for financial support to prosecute the March 6 poll, describing him as a political merchant.